Archive for June, 2009

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 26

June 30, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

James 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Luke 13:3 (and 5) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Important Clarification

June 29, 2009

No: I am not Frank Turk. This is Frank Turk.
He’s a famous blogger. I’m just a blogger.
No: I am not Frank Turek. This is Frank Turek.
He’s a reputable person; published author. I’m just a blogger.
No: I am not Francis Turretin (read about his life here).
He’s a famous theologian. I’m just a blogger and a fan of his.

-TurretinFan

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 25

June 29, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Proverbs 29:3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.

Proverbs 6:26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

Proverbs 23:27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

Catholicism in Mexico Survives Only as a Cult?

June 28, 2009

I should point out a caveat about articles on religion in the popular media. I’ve noticed, from time to time, that not every article on religion is highly accurate. The following article, to which I was somewhat recently directed, provides an example with the headline: “Catholicism in Mexico Survives Only as a Cult, Priest Claims.” This headline was, as far as I can tell, due to the failure of the editor to understand that the “cult of Mary” is the worship of Mary (hyper-dulia, to be specific in Roman Catholic terms) and not “a cult” in the sense that we use that term in English.

I understand how the editor might be confused. The worship of Mary in Catholicism in most English-speaking countries is downplayed significantly – seemingly to lure Protestants. The result is that some lay apologists seem unaware of the difference between worship (cultus or as we would tend to describe it, “religious veneration”) and the sort of everyday respect we have for one another (“secular veneration” might be a way to distinguish it from the religious veneration discussed above).

And I know – I know – Roman Catholics in English-speaking countries are quick to say, “We don’t worship Mary,” by which they mean that they don’t worship Mary as God. That’s all very nice, but check out the photo of the church that accompanied this horribly badly headlined article (link to articledirect link to photoanother view of idola third viewa fourth view).

The choice of idols for this particular church shows a distinct emphasis – and that emphasis is on Mary. Of course, one’s idols may be an inaccurate guide as to one’s interest, but the idols in this particular church suggest that the reverence for Mary is primary, despite her never being called “God.” One also sees the same thing in the shocked looks that were given when the American Secretary of State asked the absurd question, “Who painted this?” (link to photo of event)

Of course, this just showed Mrs. Clinton’s ignorance of the local superstitions:

In 1531 a “Lady from Heaven” appeared to a humble Native American at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City.
She identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth.
She made a request for a church to be built on the site, and submitted her wish to the local Bishop. When the Bishop hesitated, and requested her for a sign, the Mother of God obeyed without delay or question to the Church’s local Bishop, and sent her native messenger to the top of the hill in mid-December to gather an assorment [sic – assortment, I think, is meant] of roses for the Bishop.
After complying to the Bishop’s request for a sign, She also left for us an image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native’s tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 477 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.

(source – as you’ll see in the clearer image there, Jesus isn’t completely missing, he’s just hiding down at the bottom of the picture – direct link to picture – UPDATE: Someone complained to me that the guy at the bottom of the picture is not supposed to be Jesus but Juan Diego (technically he just complained that it wasn’t supposed to be Jesus). Although there is no heaven-fallen-down guidebook for the idol, that seems to be reasonable – and my comment was in error – Jesus is entirely left out of the picture – although some have argued that Mary is supposed to be pregnant in the picture, in which case Jesus is sort of present as a baby bulge. FURTHER UPDATE – see below)

If this reminds you of Scripture – it should:

Acts 19:23-41

And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. [Note that Paul was not preaching that instead of Diana, statues of Mary should be made – a natural response if the Apostolic church were idolatrous.]
And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.
But when they knew that he was a Jew [this was significant, because people knew that Jews did not have idols], all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? [Note that the Ephesians distinguished between Diana and Jupiter.] Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. For we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

So, yes – Catholicism survives in Mexico as (to a large extent) the cult of Mary – as the veneration of an image that (like the image of Diana) is alleged to be of miraculous origin. It would be unfair to suggest that there is nothing more to it than that, but it is a significant aspect – despite the journalistic confusion such comments can create.

-TurretinFan

FURTHER UPDATE: Mr. Bellisario, seemingly unaware of the first update above (or perhaps he posted it before the update? Who knows!) has also complained that according to the divinely inspired legend that he obtained (from a Geocities web page that was so scholarly that it wasn’t sure of the correct spelling of Mayan) the dude at the bottom of the idols is an angel (though no mention is made that this is supposed to be an angelic representation Juan Diego).

Messiah’s Name is Jesus

June 28, 2009

I recently read an interesting article in which a leading kabbalist took the position that the name of the Messiah is Yehoshua (Jesus). Apparently this old rabbi, who died at 108 had left behind a note to be revealed one year after his death. The note provide an acrostic sentence with the name of the Messiah, and the initial letters of the sentence spell out a form of the Jewish name for Jesus.

Some folks have denounced the note as a forgery. However, no reason for the forgery has been adduced. None of the associates of this rabbi are Christians, and there does not appear to be any way for Christians somehow to infiltrate the group of “ultra-Orthodox” (per the article) Jews and plant this note. I suppose an enemy of his could by trying to suggest that he had secretly converted to or compromised with Christianity, but there would seem to be much easier ways of trying do this.

What does this confirm? Not that much. One is tempted to conclude that even an unbeliever like this rabbi can come to see much truth about the Messiah from careful study of the Old Testament, and the article highlights a number of points where we would say that this rabbi got it right (as well as a few where he was way off the mark). One may even say that this name of the Messiah is found in the Old Testament forshadowed in at least two ways. Justin Martyr explains one way:

Justin: Moreover, in the book of Exodus we have also perceived that the name of God Himself which, He says, was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob, was Jesus, and was declared mysteriously through Moses. Thus it is written: ‘And the Lord spoke to Moses, Say to this people, Behold, I send My angel before your face, to keep you in the way, to bring you into the land which I have prepared for you. Give heed to Him, and obey Him; do not disobey Him. For He will not draw back from you; for My name is in Him.’ [Exodus 23:20-21] Now understand that He who led your fathers into the land is called by this name Jesus, and first called Auses [Numbers 13:16]. (Oshea). For if you shall understand this, you shall likewise perceive that the name of Him who said to Moses, ‘for My name is in Him,’ was Jesus. For, indeed, He was also called Israel, and Jacob’s name was changed to this also. Now Isaiah shows that those prophets who are sent to publish tidings from God are called His angels and apostles. For Isaiah says in a certain place, ‘Send me.’ Isaiah 6:8 And that the prophet whose name was changed, Jesus [Joshua], was strong and great, is manifest to all. If, then, we know that God revealed Himself in so many forms to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, how are we at a loss, and do not believe that, according to the will of the Father of all things, it was possible for Him to be born man of the Virgin, especially after we have such Scriptures, from which it can be plainly perceived that He became so according to the will of the Father?

– Justin Martyr, Dialog with Trypho, Chapter 75 (source)

And he also explains another way:

Justin: But you ought to believe Zechariah when he shows in parable the mystery of Christ, and announces it obscurely. The following are his words: ‘Rejoice, and be glad, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I shall dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord. And many nations shall be added to the Lord in that day. And they shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of you; and they shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me unto you. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and He shall choose Jerusalem again. Let all flesh fear before the Lord, for He is raised up out of His holy clouds. And He showed me Jesus (Joshua) the high priest standing before the angel [of the Lord ]; and the devil stood at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said to the devil, The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you. Behold, is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?’ [Zechariah 2:10-13, Zechariah 3:1-2]

As Trypho was about to reply and contradict me, I said:

Wait and hear what I say first: for I am not to give the explanation which you suppose, as if there had been no priest of the name of Joshua (Jesus) in the land of Babylon, where your nation were prisoners. But even if I did, I have shown that if there was a priest named Joshua (Jesus) in your nation, yet the prophet had not seen him in his revelation, just as he had not seen either the devil or the angel of the Lord by eyesight, and in his waking condition, but in a trance, at the time when the revelation was made to him. But I now say, that as [Scripture] said that the Son of Nave (Nun) by the name Jesus (Joshua) wrought powerful works and exploits which proclaimed beforehand what would be performed by our Lord; so I proceed now to show that the revelation made among your people in Babylon in the days of Jesus (Joshua) the priest, was an announcement of the things to be accomplished by our Priest, who is God, and Christ the Son of God the Father of all.

– Justin Martyr, Dialog with Trypho, Chapter 115 (source)

Now, don’t get me wrong – Justin’s arguments (especially the first one) are not very compelling without the further revelation provided by Jesus himself. Nevertheless, these and other passages may make clear to even an unbelieving rabbi who studies enough, that the name of the Messiah was to be Jesus. Furthermore, one might also observe that names are picked for their significance, not simply for their ephony. Thus, the name “Jesus” which means “Savior” is not a surprising name for the Messiah, given the Messiah’s salvific role.

In fact, we are told that this is the reason for the name:

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Which is indirectly a proof of the divinity of Jesus:

Zechariah 9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

Jesus is the Saviour because Jesus is God. We are His people and the sheep of his pasture:

Psalm 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

Psalm 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

For this shepherd is Jesus, who was prophesied by the prophets:

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

The shepherd will be smitten and the sheep will be scattered, but there will also be a salvation and ingathering of the sheep:

Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

We know that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies:

Matthew 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Mark 14:27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

And while there are others who can be viewed as “shepherds” in a lesser sense, Jesus is the one unique Great Shepherd:

Hebrew 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

And do not forget – our Shepherd is Jehovah, the LORD:

Psalm 23:1 (A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

There are so many such proofs that I will not now burden you with all of them. Suffice that those who truly follow the Old Testament will follow Jesus:

John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

And those who study them are studying Christ:

Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

And consequently, we (and especially Jews) are exhorted to search the Scriptures and to find Jesus there:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

We have no strong evidence that this particular rabbi trusted in the already-come Messiah Jesus, but may God give others who read his works grace to see that Jesus is the Messiah, the very Son of God who is the Shepherd of Israel and the Judge of All the Earth, who also will come again to judge the Earth on the last day. (link to article – but see this previous article about the dangers of religious journal)

-TurretinFan

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 24

June 28, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

Deuteronomy 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Transubstantiation, Metaphor, and Common Sense

June 27, 2009

Over at Beggars All Reformation, one of the commenters had provided a quotation derived from the Westminster Confession of Faith, as follow:

The doctrine which maintains the change…transubstantiation.. is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason…overthroweth..cause manifold superstitions..gross idolatries.

Mr. Bellisario responded (in two separate comments that I have joined:

What is repugnant is that you reject Our Lord’s words which tell us otherwise. Not you or your false confession will ever change His words. Common sense does not give us the Gospel. Our lord did. You and your “confession” reject Our lord and His words. Common sense tells me to listen to his words.

I answered Bellisario:

Our Lord isn’t the one who invented this concept of transubstantiation. He used a metaphor, but that’s too common sense for some folks.

Bellisario responded (again, in two comments that I have joined):

Prove He used a metaphor. That is a lie from the devil. Our Lord never said it was a metaphor. I find it funny that there is only 1 interpretation of this passage of Scripture in the Catholic Church, while the great Saint Robert Bellarmine, writing in the sixteen hundreds, counted over two hundred interpretations of our Lord’s words at the Last Supper, “This is my Body…this is my Blood.” This is the result of everyone trying to interpret Our Lord’s words for themselves outside the Church. Who says your interpretation is right?

I now answer, at greater length:

Even leaving aside the bizarre statistical claim, there are numerous problems with this kind of argument from Bellisario.

(1) Jesus never used the word “metaphor” in the pages of Holy Scripture – not just about this metaphor, but about any of them. (2) Normally what distinguishes metaphor from simile is the absence of a signal – if it said “this represents my body” we would have simile, not metaphor. (3) Jesus didn’t say that the cup was a figure of speech for the contents of the cup, but folks use their common sense to recognize this. (4) Finally, some of the early church fathers confirm that Jesus used metaphors, including the metaphor identification of his body with bread and of wine with his blood.

What mean, then, the words, “I am the true vine”? Was it to the literal vine, from which that metaphor was drawn, that He intended to point them by the addition of “true”? For it is by similitude, and not by any personal propriety, that He is thus called a vine; just as He is also termed a sheep, a lamb, a lion, a rock, a corner-stone, and other names of a like kind, which are themselves rather the true ones, from which these are drawn as similitudes, not as realities.

– Augustine, Tractate 80 on John’s Gospel, Section 1

Maybe Bellisario would claim that Augustine was deceived because he made these claims without Jesus ever saying that “I am the true vine” is a metaphor (nor the other examples that Augustine listed).

And when He says, “The Lord looked down from Heaven:” [Psalm 14:2] it describes His perfect knowledge by a metaphor taken from men. So also here He says, “Now I know,” to declare this to be greater than all which had preceded it.

– Chrysostom, Homily 3 on Second Corinthians, Section 6

Again, the text does not explicitly say that this is a metaphor. Did someone trick Chrysostom into thinking it was a metaphor?

But let’s hit a little closer to home. We are frequently told by those who use Rome as the substitute for reason, that John 6 employs the same transubstantial language as in the words of institution. But Augustine says:

Now the rule in regard to this variation has two forms. For things that signify now one thing and now another, signify either things that are contrary, or things that are only different. They signify contraries, for example, when they are used metaphorically at one time in a good sense, at another in a bad, as in the case of the leaven mentioned above. Another example of the same is that a lion stands for Christ in the place where it is said, “The lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed;” (Revelation 5:5) and again, stands for the devil where it is written, “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) In the same way the serpent is used in a good sense, “Be wise as serpents;” (Matthew 10:16) and again, in a bad sense, “The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety.” (2 Corinthians 11:3) Bread is used in a good sense, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven;” (John 6:51) in a bad, “Bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” (Proverbs 9:17) And so in a great many other cases. The examples I have adduced are indeed by no means doubtful in their signification, because only plain instances ought to be used as examples.

– Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book III, Chapter 25, Section 36

Augustine didn’t just think that “I am the living bread which came down from heaven;” was a metaphor – he thought it was an obvious metaphor. But our Lord never said it was a metaphor.

And Augustine was not alone:

And entertaining this view, we may regard the proclamation of the Gospel, which is universally diffused, as milk; and as meat, faith, which from instruction is compacted into a foundation, which, being more substantial than hearing, is likened to meat, and assimilates to the soul itself nourishment of this kind. Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: “Eat my flesh, and drink my blood;” [John 6:34] describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both—of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood.

– Clement of Alexandria, The Paedogogus, Chapter 6

The Scripture, accordingly, has named wine the symbol of the sacred blood; but reproving the base tippling with the dregs of wine, it says: “Intemperate is wine, and insolent is drunkenness.” [Proverbs 20:1] It is agreeable, therefore, to right reason, to drink on account of the cold of winter, till the numbness is dispelled from those who are subject to feel it; and on other occasions as a medicine for the intestines.

– Clement of Alexandria, The Paedogogus, Chapter 2

And of course, it’s not just those two guys, but Theodoret declares:

Moreover the Lord Himself promised to give on behalf of the life of the world, not His invisible nature, but His body. “For,” He says, “the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world,” and when He took the symbol of divine mysteries, He said, “This is my body which is given for you.“”

– Theodoret, Letter 130

And again Chrysostom:

And He Himself drank of it. For lest on hearing this, they should say, What then? Do we drink blood, and eat flesh? And then be perplexed (for when He began to discourse concerning these things, even at the very sayings many were offended),therefore lest they should be troubled then likewise, He first did this Himself, leading them to the calm participation of the mysteries. Therefore He Himself drank His own blood. What then must we observe that other ancient rite also? Some one may say. By no means. For on this account He said, “Do this,” that He might withdraw them from the other. For if this works remission of sins, as it surely does work it, the other is now superfluous.

As then in the case of the Jews, so here also He has bound up the memorial of the benefit with the mystery, by this again stopping the mouths of heretics. For when they say, Whence is it manifest that Christ was sacrificed? Together with the other arguments we stop their mouths from the mysteries also. For if Jesus did not die, of what are the rites the symbols?

– Chrysostom, Homily 82 on Matthew, Section 1

Those who have become acquainted with the secondary (i.e., under Christ) constitutions of the apostles, are aware that the Lord instituted a new oblation in the new covenant, according to [the declaration of] Malachi the prophet. For, “from the rising of the sun even to the setting my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure sacrifice;” [Malachi 1:11] as John also declares in the Apocalypse: “The incense is the prayers of the saints.” Then again, Paul exhorts us “to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” [Romans 12:1] And again, “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of the lips.” [Hebrews 13:15] Now those oblations are not according to the law, the handwriting of which the Lord took away from the midst by cancelling it; [Colossians 2:14] but they are according to the Spirit, for we must worship God “in spirit and in truth.” [John 4:24] And therefore the oblation of the Eucharist is not a carnal one, but a spiritual; and in this respect it is pure. For we make an oblation to God of the bread and the cup of blessing, giving Him thanks in that He has commanded the earth to bring forth these fruits for our nourishment. And then, when we have perfected theoblation, we invoke the Holy Spirit, that He may exhibit this sacrifice, both the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ, in order that the receivers of these antitypes may obtain remission of sins and life eternal. Those persons, then, who perform these oblations in remembrance of the Lord, do not fall in with Jewish views, but, performing the service after a spiritual manner, they shall be called sons of wisdom.

– Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenæus, Section 37 (I should point out that I’m not sure about the legitimacy of the authorship of this quotation.)

So, in conclusion, yes – the Westminster Confession of Faith is right in saying that the error of transubstantiation is repugnant to common sense and reason. The reasons for folks to accept it have to do not with respecting the word of God, but in following the traditions of men – traditions which (in this case) were not followed by the early churches.

-TurretinFan

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 23

June 27, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Leviticus 19:29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

Leviticus 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

Deuteronomy 22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

Common Man Argument for Libertarian Free Will (rebutted)

June 26, 2009

Paul Manata has an interesting, if somewhat philosophical, post that seems to sum up most of the major arguments responsive to the “Common Man” Libertarian Free Will (LFW) argument (link). It’s a good article, and I encourage folks who think that there is some merit to the “common man” argument for LFW to read it and be disabused of such an idea. I have a couple minor nitpicks.

1) Manata mentions, but I would more heavily emphasize, that the common man’s definition of “choose” is better represented by essentially the Least Common Denominator of dictionary definitions than by simply the first entry of the most popular dictionary. As such, the common man’s definition does not have as a core aspect the “possible” element that is so key to the Libertarian (in the philosophical sense) argument.

Thus, for example, if one goes to Princeton’s Wordnet and punches in “choose” one gets:

# S: (v) choose, take, select, pick out (pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives) “Take any one of these cards”; “Choose a good husband for your daughter”; “She selected a pair of shoes from among the dozen the salesgirl had shown her”
# S: (v) choose, prefer, opt (select as an alternative over another) “I always choose the fish over the meat courses in this restaurant”; “She opted for the job on the East coast”
# S: (v) choose (see fit or proper to act in a certain way; decide to act in a certain way) “She chose not to attend classes and now she failed the exam”

Notice that none of these definitions included the word “possible” or an equivalent concept.

Likewise, Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary provides:

transitive verb chose, chosen cho′·sen, choosing choos′·ing

1. to pick out by preference from what is available; take as a choice; select to choose a book at the library
2. to decide or prefer: with an infinitive object to choose to remain

Etymology: ME chesen, cheosen < OE ceosan L gustare, Goth kausjan

intransitive verb

1. to make one’s selection
2. to have the desire or wish; please do as you choose

Same thing. “possible” is not part of the definition, although in one case the word “available” is there, which might arguably be an equivalent concept.

One certainly can find dictionaries that include “possible” in the definition of choose (The first – and only the first – definition in the American Heritage dictionary, for example, has this feature: “To select from a number of possible alternatives; decide on and pick out” – I’ve added the emphasis), but such a feature that is not found in most dictionary definitions of a word can hardly be viewed as the actual “common man” meaning of the term. A better way to assess the “common man” meaning is to look for the commonalities and overlap of the many dictionary definitions.

2) What’s up with the gratuitous reference to Michael Sudduth? :)

-TurretinFan

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 22

June 26, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Matthew 5:27-28
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.


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